Hi, my name’s André, and I’ve been trying to reply to one of your asks regarding how making fun of idols speaking English is racist, but Tumblr is being silly and won’t let me post it. Here it is, though, if you wanted to look at it:
"I am so done with native English speakers judging ESL folks…
AHHH MY POST <3
Also, a short addendum regarding comments about “how Korean speakers may make fun of an English speaker for mispronunciation of Korean and how that’s basically the same thing, isn’t it?”:
No. It’s not. Well, not quite.
It depends on the intent of why you’re learning the language, really.
Due to the (relatively) recent influx of popularity of Korean pop music and Korean dramas into the Western world, Koreans as an ethnic group have been fetishized immensely, their entire language and culture conflated to the idols that call Korea their home. Romanized words such as “unnie” and “oppar” (I mean, where is that “r” consonant even coming from? 오빠 is 오빠, no matter how you spell it, and even 오빨 /oppal/ is uncommon (and its only use would be to make “oppa” the object of a sentence, and that’s too close to objectification for comfort)) infiltrate the mouths of KPOP fans all the time.
Are you really interested in learning Korean? Are you really interested in South Korea, its history, its culture, and its language? Or are you just learning enough to “get by,” as Simon and Martina have been doing for the past six(?) years? Are you using it only to earn approval from your idols, whom you expect to fall for your “saranghae”s and “joayo”s as you continue to sexualize and exoticize the hell out of them? In that case, you’re not learning Korean. You’re appropriating it.
Just because a Korean speaker may comment on your pronunciation doesn’t give you the right to make a scene out of theirs, especially when they’re not explicitly learning English (or are forced to sing it, as the KPOP industry often makes them do). And just because your idols may already be successful doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of other POC, other ESL folks, who are trying their best. Telling somebody that their accent is “weird” is mean, especially if they weren’t born in an English-speaking household. Calling somebody a “fob” for their speech patterns is degrading and dehumanizing; the word itself, and all of its derivations, are slurs. English speakers romanize and mispronounce the words of other languages all the time, and are given little shit for it.
Because, y’know what? Not knowing Korean (or any other language) is most likely not going to affect the outcome of your life. You already know English. But for those actively trying to learn English, it does matter. Their lives may depend on it. See the difference?
Pro-tip: languages that don’t use the Latin alphabet weren’t created just for you to romanize them. Trying to learn Korean without learning how to write it correctly is just another instance of colonialism.